High Interest Savings Account Update 2020-03-11


The Bank of Canada lowered interest rates last week and high interest savings account issuers have adjusted to match their 50 bps cut. Some issuers have made bigger changes.

B2B Bank (BTB100) is the highest of the bunch right now at 1.20%, but RBC (RBF2010) and TD (TDB8150) are both at 1.05% and they lowered their HISA rates by 55 bps. Manulife (MIP510) has made a dramatic change, moving their HISA rate to 0.75%.

Click Here for a list of all HISA rates that I track.

Looking forward, if economic conditions continue to get worse, expect the Bank of Canada to lower rates even more. Since there is not much room towards zero, savers could find themselves in a position of not being able to find anywhere in Canada to earn interest on deposit. Its a real possibility.

Transfer Bitcoin Online

There are a few different ways to make bitcoin payments and transfer bitcoin online. Using the bitcoin blockchain is one way, but users can also transfer bitcoin online from user-to-user on many different sites. Below is a short description of how to transfer bitcoin to another user on CoinRoster, a bitcoin fantasy sports site.

Transfer Bitcoin using CoinRoster

After logging into your CoinRoster account, select the “My Account” link from the top main menu. Once you’re on the My Account page, click the “Transfer Funds” link from the left-side menu. Then, you’ll be presented with a form where you can enter the details of where you want to send bitcoin such as the username and the amount. Click the “Transfer” button to complete the transaction.

Here are some screenshots that illustrate the steps to transfer bitcoin using CoinRoster:

Click here to view my other CoinRoster posts

Free Bitcoin Faucets


This post describes how to get Free Bitcoin by using faucets. I will provide a few links and describe the pros and cons. Bitcoin faucets let users click a button periodically to receive small amounts of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Here are three bitcoin faucets where you can get free bitcoin:

FreeBitcoins.com – these faucets pay out in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. You can also trade bitcoin for other cryptos on their new xChange.

freebitco.in – this site has a faucet game where you CAN win a lot of bitcoin, and you are also encouraged to gamble it or save it up for interest. Click here to get free bitcoin.

Bitcoin Faucets

How do bitcoin faucets work? I mean, can you really get free bitcoin? Yes, you can actually get free bitcoin, but just a very small amount at a time. You’re not going to get rich off these free bitcoin faucets, unless the price of bitcoin goes way, way up.

Bitcoin faucets are more like marketing tools for the website that offer them. Usually, the bitcoin faucets are accompanied by ads or other incentives to sign up for something. In the case of freebitco.in, you will be encouraged to gamble your free bitcoin, and in the case of FreeBitcoins, you will be encouraged to use their swap tool or their cryptocurrency exchange.

Free Money?

Yes, its possible to get free money using bitcoin faucets. But you’ll only be able to get small amounts of free bitcoin, and you probably won’t get rich off of free bitcoin faucets. But if you want to get a small amount of free bitcoin, then faucets are a good place to start.

Click here to check out my other posts with the word “free” in them

What is Dead Heat Betting?


A Dead Heat is a tie between two or more outcomes in a betting contest with no method to determine an outright winner. The term dead heat comes from horse racing but today a dead heat most commonly occurs in golf betting. This post provides a way to calculate a dead heat payoff with an example.

Dead Heat Golf Example

A common golf bet is whether golfers will place top 5/10/25, etc. In most stroke play golf tournaments, if there’s a tie at the top, a playoff is used to determine the winner. But a playoff is not used to break ties for other places such as 5th, 10th, etc. So its common for golfers to finish tied for various places other than first.

Less commonly there are bets for team events about which golfers will get the most team points, and this also results in some ties. These ties create situations where dead heat rules apply. Depending on the number of players tied and the number of places offered, it affect settlement in a variety of ways.

Let’s say you bet $10 at odds of 10.00 on a golfer to finish Top 10, and they end up tied with two additional golfers for 10th place. This means there is a three golfer dead heat and a total of 12 golfers finishing in the top 10. Your payoff is determined by taking your original stake multiplied by the number of golfers involved in the dead heat and divided by the number of places available multiplied by your odds. In this case = stake * (number of expected winners / number of actual winners) * odds = 10 * (10 / 12) * 10.00 = $83.33.

So in this case your payout is reduced because more then the expected number of winners share in the payout. Without ties, your payout would have been $10 * 10.00 = $100.

Calculator & Freeplay Links

Calculating how much you are owed in a dead heat is a little tricky to do on the fly, so click on this link to view a Dead Heat Calculator from Smarkets.

I regularly write posts about betting and odds. Click here to view my other betting posts.

There are lots of freeplays available for sports bettors, click here for my list of freeplay and bonus codes. If you have bitcoins to bet with, check out Nitrogen Sports, which is my favorite bitcoin sports book.

Canadian Dividend Portfolio


This post will show how to create a sustainable Canadian dividend portfolio that’s reliable for any long term Canadian stock market investor. The Canadian dividend portfolio shown below is inspired by the Canadian investor Stephen Jarislowsky.

Stephen Jarislowsky was a large cap Canadian based stock market investor who shared a similar investment philosophy as Warren Buffet. Jarislowsky recommends a buy and hold strategy focused on blue chip dividend paying stocks that investors can hold for life. Jarislowsky rarely makes trades, in fact, one friend of mine who had an separately managed account with Jarislowsky Fraser usually saw about 1 trade per year as dividends were periodically re-invested. If you’d like to read about Jarislowsky’s investment strategy, check out his book The Investment Zoo.

Although a blue chip buy and hold dividend investing strategy has been successful over the long run, Jarislowsky personally is out of step with the sustainability values of today’s investors. Many investors now take a “sustainable” approach to investing by considering social and environmental factors to investment selection. This sustainable investing approach is not something central to investors like Jarislowsky, even though he was an advocate for shareholder rights, he did not use social & environmental factors when deciding what to invest in. Jarislowsky’s approach to sustainable investing focused more heavily on corporate governance compared to environmental and social sustainability. The portfolio I construct in this post will reflect more modern approaches to sustainability by employing a negative screen for companies that don’t support certain sustainability values as defined by an investment policy.

Investment Policy

We will construct this portfolio using a formal written Investment Policy which outlines specific requirements we must meet. The Canadian dividend portfolio we’re constructing represents a 10% allocation of this larger portfolio and the benchmark used to evaluate this portfolio will be the iShares S&P/TSX 60 Index Fund (TSX symbol XIU).

The Investment Policy also lists the specific business activities where we will apply a negative screen, and they are:

  • pain management medication
  • depression medication
  • unhealthy food
  • oil extraction
  • gas extraction
  • mining
  • coal power
  • gas power
  • tobacco
  • weapons
  • oil/gas distribution
  • social media
  • genetic engineering

The Canadian dividend portfolio we construct must exclude companies that engage in these activities. To align with Jarislowsky’s approach, we will follow these specific criteria listed below. Below I will also include criteria relating to using an investment counselor (portfolio manager), but investors can also build this portfolio themselves using a discount brokerage account.

  • each holding must pay a dividend
  • each holding must be within the S&P 500, TSX 60 or relevant international benchmarks
  • no real estate holding companies (may include real estate services companies)
  • no retailers
  • use separately managed account (we must see the individual stocks on the account statements, not funds)
  • hold individual stocks in a brokerage account with the following institutions (RBC, TD, CIBC, BMO, BNS, MFC, SLF)
  • low number of purchases/sales (historically no more than 1 per year)
  • must provide monthly soft copy statement with total account value, individual position cost base and market value, exchange rate applied, and transaction history
  • a quarterly or annual in person review

Canadian Dividend Portfolio

To begin constructing this portfolio, we start with a list of the S&P/TSX 60 Index, and screen it for all of our criteria listed above. We strip out all companies that do not pay a dividend, do not match our sustainability values, and also remove all retailers, all companies with either duel class share structures or have a group with a controlling stake.

We’re now left with the following companies:

BCE Inc.
Telus Corporation
Bank of Montreal
Bank of Nova Scotia
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
Manulife Financial Corporation
National Bank of Canada
Royal Bank of Canada
Sun Life Financial Inc.
Thomson Reuters Corporation
Toronto-Dominion Bank
Canadian National Railway Company
Canadian Pacific Railway Limited
Waste Connections Inc.
Constellation Software Inc.
Open Text Corporation
Emera Incorporated
Fortis Inc.

We are left with 18 of 60 companies (30% of the index) from relatively diverse industry groups, but the list is concentrated with financial companies which make up 8 of the 18 companies (44%). The dividend yield of the index at the time of writing is 2.67%, whereas the yield on our custom portfolio is 3.25%. So because our portfolio is more concentrated in some of the bank and insurance companies with higher dividends, this causes our custom portfolio to have a higher yield then the index.

I think these 18 companies are diverse enough that they could be used for any long term Canadian dividend investor. The other benefit to this portfolio is it requires very little ongoing research & analysis. When a company leaves the index and a new company joins, this is a time to evaluate and do a screen, but otherwise the dividends can be periodically re-invested.

Clam Coin Price

This post will discuss four exchanges where users can trade clam coin and find the best clam coin price. The clam coin price comes purely from supply and demand. There is no single price for clam coin, but rather a few different exchanges where you can buy and sell clam coin. Each exchange where clams are traded is a bit different, and which one you might use depends on what features you prefer. This posts outlines the features of four clam coin exchanges: FreiExchange, FreeBitcoins.com/xchange, BTCPOP, and TradeSatoshi.

Trading FeesFree0.50%
Withdrawal Fees0.50%0.001 CLAM
APIRead OnlyRead Only
Trading Fees0.25%Free
Withdrawal Fees0.010.01

All prices are quoted in CLAM/BTC and fees are quoted in native currency (be they clam or btc).


There are two ways that clam coin exchanges make profits: trading fees and withdrawal fees. Some exchanges charge both trading fees and withdrawal fees, and some exchanges only charge for trading or withdrawals. By only charging for withdrawals, an exchange is helping certain users provide liquidity (those users who are buying and selling, either as market makers or speculators). FreiExchange and TradeSatoshi do not charge trading fees. FreiExchange charges 0.5% for withdrawals, which is potentially the highest withdrawal fee of the exchanges reviewed in this post.

FreeBitcoins/xchange, BTCPOP, and TradeSatoshi charge fixed withdrawal fees. A fixed withdrawal fee is the best for large traders because as your withdrawal size gets bigger the fixed fee becomes a smaller percentage of your withdrawal value. So based on fees, TradeSatoshi has the best fee structure for most traders.

Clam Coin Liquidity

Being able to buy and sell quickly with the lowest spreads and fees makes an exchange liquid. FreiExchange has the lowest liquidity of the clam coin markets reviewed. The gap between bids and asks is often more then 50%, which means there is a big spread between the market price users can buy or sell. The spread between bids and asks is an implicit trading cost users pay. The lower the spread, the cheaper trading costs.

The liquidity of FreeBitcoins.com/xchange is a bit better then FreiExchange, but its still pretty shallow. This exchange is new (although the creators are clam coin enthusiasts) so volume has been low so far. At the time of writing, the gap between the best bid and ask is 0.00010 / 0.00012 = 16%. BTCPOP and TradeSatoshi usually have the most liquidity and the lowest spreads but not always. At the time of writing, BTCPOP has a bid/ask of 0.00008 / 0.000103 = 22%, and TradeSatoshi has a market of 0.00009023 / 0.000148 = 39%.


Having an API is a feature serious exchanges should have. Especially with crypto, its a lot easier if a computer talks to other computers rather then humans inputting trades manually. Many exchanges have basic “APIs” which are read only endpoints with standard data formats where users can make software call the endpoint to collect data. Better REST APIs will allow users to make GET and POST requests in order to perform trades algorithmically instead of manually. Providing a REST API is a bit tougher from the exchange’s point of view because they will then need secure ways to authenticate requests and ways to handle the volume of requests. But the advantage of providing REST APIs is exchanges can attract a lot more liquidity. TradeSatoshi has by far the best API functionality of the clam coin exchanges reviewed here.


Clam coin staking is an important feature of the clam coin blockchain because this is how the clam coin blockchain secures transactions and rewards miners. With clam coin staking, 1 new clam is generated each minute and awarded by proportional lottery to all miners based on their share of clam coins. For example, if there are 3.5 million clams being staked, and you are staking 100 clams, you have a 100 / 3.5 mil chance of winning a clam each minute. On an exchange or any other clam coin service where you keep a balance, its in your interest to receive the staking rewards associated with your balance. This is especially the case because pooling your stake with other users on the same platform will dramatically smooth your rate of return compared to staking your own wallet with a small clam coin balance. Only BTCPOP provides users with staking rewards for their balances. I expect FreeBitcoins.com/xchange will provide staking rewards eventually.


Affiliate rewards are are a marketing strategy that can help promoters and also drive liquidity to an exchange. All things being equal, an exchange that provides affiliate rewards can attract more liquidity then those exchanges that do not. FreeBitcoins.com/xchange will likely offer an affiliate system in the future, whereas BTCPOP has a affiliate rewards and so does TradeSatoshi.

Clam Coin Trading Strategies

Overall, the best clam coin exchange is TradeSatoshi. This is because of their zero trading fees and because they offer the best API functionality.

Since Poloniex de-listed clam coins, the market has been in flux, and as outlined in the is post, there are a few different exchanges where users can trade clam coin. The spreads are wide on all exchanges, and there are also gaps between prices on various exchanges. This provides traders with opportunities to make markets between exchanges and speculate on prices.

Click here to read my other clam coin posts.

Poloniex spins out to Polo Digital Assets


Today I received an e-mail from Poloniex that my account is frozen and they are re-organizing into a new company that will separate from Circle Financial. Here is the text of this e-mail:

Hello Poloniex Customer,

We’re emailing to notify you that Poloniex will be spinning out from Circle into a new company called Polo Digital Assets, Ltd. As a result, your account will be transferred to the new company and remain frozen. No action is required by you at this time.

A few things to note:
– Your login credentials will stay the same
– How you access the Poloniex site will remain the same

As part of the spinout, Circle will cease all trading operations for Poloniex US customers on November 1, 2019. As a non-US customer, there is no action for you to take at this time.

The full announcement can be found here and our Customer Support team is available to answer any questions you may have. Visit our Help Center or reply to this message and we will get back to you quickly.

Circle Financial must have learned the regulatory environment for crypto in the United States is tough, so they’ve decided to let Poloniex go its own way.

Click here for more of my posts on Poloniex.

Manulife Investment Savings Account Update

Manulife Investment Savings Accounts are explained below. This post explains the difference between them, their current rates, and how to buy. I cover the funds MIP510, MIP610, MIP710, MIP810, MIP511, MIP611.

Click here to view my Investment Savings Account rates page. On this page I show the Investment Savings Accounts from all Canadian issuers.

The Manulife Investment Savings Accounts are purchased and sold like money market mutual funds except they carry direct guarantees by their issuer and are covered by CDIC insurance like a bank account. Currently, high interest savings accounts (HISA) rates are higher then government treasury bills and other money market funds, so these funds are useful right now.

Manulife Investment Savings Accounts pay monthly interest at an annual rate of 1.40%. This rate is slightly lower then other issuers at 1.60%.

Manulife offers identical investment savings accounts from Manulife Bank and Manulife Trust. MIP510 is the fund code for the plain vanilla advisor class which you would use in a discount brokerage account. MIP610 is the code for fee based accounts. To buy these HISAs, go to the mutual fund order page at your discount brokerage account and enter an order just like you were buying any other mutuel fund. The process is the same for sales.

Manulife also offers US dollar based funds with the codes MIP511. The interest rates is currently a little lower then the Canadian side.

Bitfinex Affiliate Review


Bitfinex has a new affiliate marketing program. In this this post I review the main features of the Bitfinex affiliate marketing program. If you’re a bitcoin crypto trader, click on this link to singup for Bitfinex.


To start using the Bitfinex affiliate program, signup for Bitfinex, and then once logged in, click on the “affiliate” link in the top main menu. The first time I did this I see a pop-up showing me Bitfinex’s suggested first three steps (which don’t offer much benefit) and then after clicking the proceed button, I landed on the affiliate dashboard page. The Bitfinex affiliate dashboard shows a snapshot of my revenue, signups, top members, and a graph of my affiliate earnings over time. The left side menu allows me to toggle between different dashboard views.

Bitfinex Affiliate Commission Structure

Oddly, Bitfinex affiliates earn commissions on three layers of signups according to the following schedule:

  • 1st degree (direct) Member connections: 18%
  • 2nd degree Member connections: 6%
  • 3rd degree Member connections: 2%

Then, affiliates receive commission multipliers based on certain things their users will do. If a user account is KYC verified, the affiliate gets a 1.2x multiplier. If one of your members, over the past 30 days, had an average holding of UNUS SED LEO tokens greater than 500 USDt LEO equivalent, the Bitfinex affiliate will be eligible for an additional multiplier on his activities as follows:

  • 500+ USDt LEO equivalent – a 1.1x multiplier
  • 5,000+ USDt LEO equivalent – a 1.2x multiplier
  • 50,000+ USDt LEO equivalent – a 1.5x multiplier

The percentage of the fees Bitfinex affiliates receive for each 1st degree member start at 18% and are fall in a straight-line fashion so that at the end of each thirty days, it is reduced by 0.5%. This means your Bitfinex affiliate commissions are decrease per user by 6% each year. This leads me to believe Bitfinex affiliate commissions will go to zero after 3 years? I’d like to hear more about this from Bitfinex.

Bitfinex affiliate commissions pay in the same digital tokens that Bitfinex collected them as fees. But there are three exceptions:

  • UNUS SED LEO tokens 
  • Any Digital Tokens that Bitfinex determines should be converted – if you do not have a verified account or are not eligible to receive so
  • Fees from fiat currencies, UNUS SED LEO, or restricted tokens, are exchanged to Bitcoin (BTC) or Tether (USDt)

Program Features

Bitfinex affiliates get to offer their networks an incentive to signup. New users receive a rebate of 6% which is reduced by 0.5% per month in the same fashion as the commission structure. At the end of each thirty days, it is reduced by 0.5%.

You can create custom codes & URLs as a Bitfinex affiliate. This feature is very helpful to affiliates with multiple platforms. Its pretty easy, just hit the bright green “generate new code button” in the top right corner of the Bitfinex affiliate dashboard.

The dashboard used to track affiliate revenue actually seems a bit helpful. If affiliate create multiple codes for different platforms, they can see clicks and signups separated by different codes.

Is the Bitfinex Affiliate Program Good?

For me, the best features of the new Bitfinex affiliate program seem to be the custom code generation and some of the reporting features. I also like how affiliates get paid a percentage of the revenue generated from signups, as compared to a signup bonus. This way, incentives are aligned since affiliate commissions are paid from user revenue.

I don’t like the sliding scale of commissions. I understand why Bitfinex has chosen this commission structure, since it encourages affiliates to continue feeding new signups, or else their commission will dry up. But I would rather have a lower commission level that lasts for a longer time as I believe it would offer a smoother payout frequency.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on Bitfinex in general. Do you think its a ponzi? Do you think their association with US dollar tether is dangerous? Please leave your comments to this post and I’ll address them.

Click here for other posts I’ve written on Bitfinex.